Will another change at atop the Boston Red Sox batting order restore their edge over the Tampa Bay Rays?
Michael Chavis is the latest occupant of Boston’s troublesome leadoff spot, following his recall from Triple-A Worcester. He’ll play second base Thursday in the Red Sox’s series finale against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Tampa cut Boston’s lead atop the American League East division to a half game Wednesday with its 8-2 win. The teams split the first two games of the season, and the winner of Thursday night’s contest will secure the AL East lead for at least a day.
Xander Bogaerts, who bats fourth, joins Chavis in the middle of Boston’s infield. Rafael Devers bats fifth and plays third base. Bobby Dalbec plays first base and bats ninth.
Boston’s outfield consists of Alex Verdugo in left field (he bats second), Kiké Hernández in center field (batting seventh) and Hunter Renfroe (sixth).
Designated hitter J.D. Martinez bats third. Catcher Christian Vázquez bats eighth.
Red Sox starting pitcher Nick Pivetta has struck out at least six batters in his last seven starts and looks to extend his career-high streak to another game and notch the win over the Rays.
Tampa will open with Michael Wacha on the mound.
NESN will broadcast Red Sox-Rays in full, with pregame coverage starting at 6 p.m. ET. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m., and postgame coverage immediately will follow the final out. Remember, if you’re not near a TV, you can live stream full coverage of the game online at Watch NESN Live.
Here are the lineups for Thursday’s Red Sox-Rays game.
RED SOX (44-30)
Michael Chavis, 2B
Alex Verdugo, LF
J.D. Martinez, DH
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Rafael Devers, 3B
Hunter Renfroe, RF
Kiké Hernández, CF
Christian Vázquez, C
Bobby Dalbec, 1B
Nick Pivetta, RHP (6-3, 4.36 ERA)
Brandon Lowe, 2B
Wander Franco, SS
Randy Arozarena, RF
Austin Meadows, LF
Yandy Diaz, 1B
Ji-Man Choi, DH
Joey Wendle, 3B
Francisco Mejia, C
Kevin Kiermaier, CF
Michael Wacha, RHP (1-2, 5.19 ERA)